City of Geneva, NY
Ontario County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Geneva as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 350.
[Adopted 3-14-2007 by Ord. No. 1-2007]
A. 
Findings.
(1) 
The City of Geneva is a destination city providing a high quality of urban life enhanced by cultural, recreational, educational, and economic opportunities; and
(2) 
The City's 1998 Master Plan recognizes that among the City's unique assets is "a spatially and visually defined downtown that highlights the geographic center of the community;" and that "Geneva's downtown is the social and functional center of the City . . . . well-defined and historic in character"; and
(3) 
The Master Plan recommends that the City of Geneva designate the core downtown area as a Traditional Urban Design District to conserve the architectural character of downtown by developing "methods to preserve existing historic buildings and ensure that new development conforms to the existing character"; and
(4) 
A Traditional Urban Design District will promote economic viability, offer a diverse urban lifestyle, and help position the City as a regional center;
B. 
As recommended by the Master Plan, a Traditional Urban Downtown District (TUDD) shall be created as an overlay zoning district in the core downtown area.
A. 
The purpose of the TUDD is to conserve the existing unique assets of Geneva's historic urban center and to encourage new development that enhances the traditional urban design and character of its downtown.
B. 
The elements of a Traditional Urban Design District are as follows:
(1) 
Pedestrian-oriented: characterized by a concentration of commercial, office, civic, cultural and residential uses all within walking distance of one another, which creates a working, growing and attractive business center full of vitality and pedestrian activity.
(2) 
Traditional mid-nineteenth through early-twentieth century urban streetscape: characterized by zero side and lot line setbacks, zero sidewalk setbacks, common walls between buildings, and buildings that are at least two stories high. Lighting, benches, and signage are geared toward encouraging pedestrian interest by complementing the building's design. Parking is provided on the street, in the rear of buildings, or public areas. Alleys, parking lots and rear building entries are safe and attractive, and encourage a commercial/residential environment.
(3) 
Traditional mid-nineteenth through early-twentieth century urban facades: characterized by retail storefronts at street level with an entrance that is often recessed, large display windows with bulkheads or kickplates below, an upper facade with regularly spaced windows, and a decorative cornice at the top.
(4) 
Building materials and colors: characterized by masonry faced with brick. Wrought iron cladding work is encouraged. The color scheme is subtle, traditional and complementary to adjoining buildings.
The boundaries of the TUDD are delineated on the attached map.[1] The boundaries constitute the core area of Geneva's downtown as it developed in the late nineteenth through early twentieth century.
BEGINNING at a point that marks the intersection of the west line of Exchange Street and the south line of the railroad tracks; thence southerly encompassing all properties that front on the west line of Exchange Street to a point which marks the intersection of the west line of Exchange Street and the north line of Castle Street;
THENCE westerly encompassing all properties that front the north line of Castle Street to the southwest corner of property known as 244 Main Street (the Public Library);
THENCE southerly encompassing all properties that front the west line of Main Street to a point which marks the intersection of the west line of Main Street and the north line of William Street;
THENCE easterly across Main Street to the southwest corner of property known as 357 South Main Street (Civic Center);
THENCE easterly encompassing all properties that front on the south line of Seneca Street to a point which marks the intersection of the south line of Seneca Street with the east line of South Linden Street;
THENCE southerly along the east line of South Linden Street to a point which marks the intersection of the east line of South Linden Street and the north line of Elizabeth Blackwell Drive;
THENCE easterly encompassing all properties that front the north line of Elizabeth Blackwell Drive to a point which marks the intersection of the north line of Elizabeth Blackwell Drive and the west line of Routes 5&20 (Lakefront Drive);
THENCE northerly along the west line of Routes 5&20 to a point which marks the intersection of the west line of Routes 5&20 and the north line of Lake Street;
THENCE westerly encompassing all properties except the railroad that front the north line of Lake Street to a point which marks the intersection of the north line of Lake Street and the east line of Exchange Street;
THENCE northerly encompassing all properties along the east line of Exchange Street that front the east line of Exchange Street to a point which marks the intersection of the east line of Exchange Street and the south line of the railroad tracks;
THENCE westerly along the south line of the railroad tracks to the point and place of beginning.
[1]
Editor's Note: The map is on file in the City offices.
This article shall apply to all properties located within the TUDD. The provisions of the Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 350, Geneva Municipal Code) shall apply in the TUDD, except where the provisions of this article differ from the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, this article shall take precedence.
Any building, structure, parking area, or sign that lawfully exists at the time this article is enacted, which would not otherwise be permitted under this article, may be continued in the same manner as existed before the effective date of this article.
A. 
Business. Businesses located in this district are not required to provide on-site parking for their patrons or employees.
B. 
Residential.
(1) 
Residences located in this district are not required to provide on-site parking for their residents.
(2) 
TUDD residents may use designated overnight or long-term parking areas.
C. 
Private parking lots shall be located behind or within buildings.
A. 
Facades. Each building facade may have signage.
B. 
Number and size of signs.
(1) 
Each floor of a facade may have any number of signs flush with the facade so long as the aggregate size does not exceed 20% of that floor's facade area, provided that the floor is used for commercial use and the signage relates to the commercial use, and the sign doesn't block the window.
(2) 
Rear facades facing Routes 5&20 may exceed the 20% area square footage limitation, but shall not exceed 120 square feet.
C. 
Signs shall be externally lit. Internally illuminated signs are not permitted. Flashing lights are not permitted.
D. 
Sidewalk sandwich board signs are permitted, provided:
[Amended 3-5-2014 by Ord. No. 1-2014]
(1) 
All sandwich board signs shall require an annual permit, the application for which shall be reviewed by the Building Official. The permit application shall include contact information for the applicant and a rendering of the sign, including location to be placed, physical appearance, and dimensions.
(2) 
Except as provided for in Subsection D(6), the sign shall be located in front of the business it represents.
(3) 
The sign shall be removed at the end of the business's hours of operation.
(4) 
Size shall not exceed 12 square feet per side, nor be more than 42 inches in height.
(5) 
The location of the sign shall not interfere with pedestrian access on the sidewalk nor obstruct the view of vehicular traffic.
(6) 
The Building Official may grant exceptions to Subsection D(2) in cases where it is deemed that the business location has obscured visibility. In such cases, one sign may be placed at the nearest intersection, provided that a signed affidavit of approval is provided by the property owner on whose property the sign will be placed.
(7) 
Any sign placed in violation of this section shall be confiscated and stored by the City for 30 days. Property owners may reclaim the sign once in a twelve-month period at no cost. Property owners whose signs are confiscated more than once in a twelve-month period will be fined $50 for each time reclaimed. Any signs not reclaimed within 30 days shall be destroyed.
(8) 
Property owners with existing sandwich board signs at the time of adoption of this subsection shall have 90 days from adoption date to comply.
E. 
Pylon, pole, monument, rooftop, and billboard signs are not permitted.
Building location regulations are as follows:
A. 
Building fronts at the sidewalk.
B. 
The minimum lot coverage is 50%.
C. 
New construction and infill buildings must maintain the existing alignment of facades along the street front. Exceptions may be granted by the Planning Board as long as the setback is pedestrian-oriented and contributes to the character of the streetscape.
A. 
An application for demolition of any building within the TUDD shall be subject to a hearing prior to issuance of a demolition permit by the Code Enforcement Office. A public hearing on the application shall be held by City Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting upon notice published within seven days of filing the application for demolition.
B. 
The purpose of the hearing shall be to notify the public of the pending application, and to receive public comment on the issue of whether it is in the public interest that the building be preserved and to allow for solutions to demolition to be explored.
C. 
No permit for demolition shall be issued by the Code Enforcement Office until at least 45 days after the filing of the application for demolition.
D. 
The provisions of this section of the article may be waived by the Code Enforcement Office if a building is damaged or destroyed in whole or in part by fire or other catastrophe to the extent that it cannot be repaired, or the building must be demolished for immediate emergency health and public safety reasons, as determined by the Fire Department or others considered by the Code Enforcement Office to be qualified to assess the damage. In such instances, the building may be rebuilt in its original form.
Traditional Urban Design Guidelines have been developed in accordance with the Master Plan to provide recommended standards to enable the City, property owners, and prospective property owners to "preserve existing historic buildings" when implementing general maintenance and repairs, and to "ensure that new development conforms to the existing character." These guidelines are not a part of this article. The Guidelines are intended to convey desirable elements. They are recommendations, not requirements.